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A friend of mine bought a Honda XR650L recently. He hasn't had the best of luck. A friend of his who claimed to be a mechanic changed the spark plug and coil, and it didn't run again for a few weeks. He finally got it running, now it has a knock like something is very wrong with the top end. He has given up on it, and it's mine if I want it for $250.

It has two new tires and a gold X-Ring chain. Will need engine work, and maybe s, I could break even, but if I could fix if for , I could break even, but if I could fix if for mostly trail, I could make my KLR mostly street (which it mostly is now).

So, what do you think? Plunge, or walk? Oh, it's a 1999. 20,000 miles.
 

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For $250?

I'd buy it. You can get that much out of it easily. Twice that with a bit of effort. Yet I'd bet that it won't take all that much to fix.

The worst thing that happens to a lot of bikes is a 'friend who is a mechanic'.

T
 

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It may be a bit if a risk. It is a 14 year old bike that sounds like it needs an engine. You do not know the history of the first 20,000 so could be clutch, shifting problems that follow up a new stronger engine.

If you can find a wreck and buy a whole engine and get it mobile for under its kelly blue book value then you are golden, otherwise the engine and the bike could be a money pit.
 

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I'd buy it while I had the chance, then I'd start hanging out and asking questions on a XR650-specific forum like Thumper Talk. They could probably give you more concise information about what it could be and what you're possibly dealing with. It is full of oil, right?

Worst-case scenario, strip it down as far as you can and take it to a dealer and tell them to just investigate the internals of the top end (if you're sure that's where it's coming from) until they find the problem and then stop until they talk to you, even if that means hauling it home, unfixed, if you decide it's not worth the money to continue.

If it's going to cost more to fix than you're willing to pay, I can't imagine you still couldn't unload it as a parts bike for at least what you paid for it. Hell, the wheels/rotors and tires alone would be worth $250 if they're serviceable.

With the documentation from the dealer in hand describing exactly what's wrong with it, somebody might actually be more inclined to buy it for parts than if you just said "I don't know what's wrong with it" and you would most likely recover your $250 plus maybe a couple hours' shop labor rate to identify the problem to somebody who either wants it as their own parts bike or is willing to strip/part it out to make money.

That's what I'd do, anyway. Yes, it's a gamble, but for $250 it's one I'd take. I also think you live in an area where there might be a higher population of XR's than other parts of the country so that would be an advantage if you wound up selling it as a parts bike, especially since not much has changed on those over the years so the parts would fit a wide swath of production years, if not all.

I know if I saw an ad for a KLR650 whose parts would fit mine even if I knew the engine was shot I'd jump on it for $250.

I think, even if you didn't want to mess with it and took it to a shop for their opinion, the worst you would do is break even. The best you could do is acquire a nice second bike for not a lot of money.

Lots of variables, but to me the asking price makes it worth buying.
 
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